With the World Wide Web, access to online fitness programs is becoming more and more popular, and the best part about it is you can get these workouts from the click of a button and start straight away in your very own home.
Because there are so many programs out there it can be difficult to decide on which one will suit you, so today we are going to investigate the best way to select a program.
- Understand your goals
Before you start your search, you should have a clear goal in mind. Set that goal. When setting goals, you should sit down and write out everything you can do, from what you are willing to commit to to the type of training that will help you achieve this goal. There is no point completing a fat loss program if your goal is increase muscle size and vice versa.
- Consider the timeframe
This includes understanding what length of time you can focus on the program and the length of the sessions you’re able to do. This will have a huge impact on the whether you actually complete it.
There are many programs out there with lengths varying from 4 weeks to 12 weeks, so decide which one you are willing to commit to. If you have a holiday in 8 weeks’ time, you’re not likely to complete a 12-week program.
Also check the length of each session. If you know you can only commit to 30 minutes before work, you’d want to pick a program that specialises in shorter sessions, likewise, if you want to commit to 1 hour each evening, you will want to look for sessions to meet that desire. If you choose something wrong, you’ll either finish your session early and end up not seeing the desired results or the sessions will feel too short for you to get the impact you want.
- Don’t be blinded by a big name
Don’t be afraid of choosing a smaller name over a more popular big name. By this I mean are you choosing a certain program because the trainer is Instagram famous? This often does not mean that their programs are going to be better for you than the next. Try to look past the name, past the fame and choose based on the program’s content.
- Take your time researching
Once you have your goal and timeframe set, it’s time to do some research. The easiest way to do this is by typing your goal into google and watching the online programs come up. Look into all of them. There are going to be many options available to you, and it’s important to find what is right for you.
- Pay for a program
There are two reasons to choose a program that you have to pay for. Firstly, when you financially commit to something you are much more likely to follow it through. There is that added incentive not to waste your money. A free program is too easily thrown away.
Secondly, a program that you pay for is more likely to be created by a professional that has the rights to sell their knowledge. Anyone without the right qualifications selling fitness programs could be subject to being sued. If someone has paid for a product there are specific laws they are protected by. This ensures the program will be of a good quality. Your research should point to this too.
- Make sure the trainer is accredited
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure the trainer is in fact qualified to create programs. In Australia, that means they need a Certificate III and IV in Fitness. The US has its own accreditations and the UK its own.
Some programs will contain nutritional advice or diet plans. It is extremely important to be mindful of this. Make sure that the nutritional advice has credit behind it before trying it, meaning that a qualified nutritionist/dietician has approved it. Nutrition is something that varies from person to person, from body type to body type. Some of the nutrition programs within fitness programs can be incorrect for you. If you’re serious about nutrition, go to a qualified nutritionist.
- Is assistance provided if you want it
How much assistance do you want, and how much assistance does the provider offer? Some programs are simply PDFs sent to you via email, and you’re expected to just get on with it, which is great for some people, but some people will want more. If you’re likely to need a bit of advice or help with certain exercises, look into programs with online forums, one-to-one mentoring, a support line, a support email and groups you can attend for extra support.
Some of the programs that are out there that are on my radar include:
- Max’s challenge – 12-week online transformation challenge, suitable for guys of all body types and all ages. 24/7 help is offered as well as an online forum and community. With beginner to advanced plans available, that can be carried out both at home or the gym. They also offer a simple meal plan and shopping list.
- Maxine’s Challenge – this offers the same support and programs as the Max’s challenge, however it is designed for females.
- Emily Skye F.I.T – offers many different online programs from with different phases of training, from starting your journey through to finishing your masterpiece to becoming trim and toned.
- MetaCorr – offering 2 different programs: a 42-day program and a 12-week program. Both designed to attract female clients who are wanting to lose fat. All exercises are available on YouTube to watch, and a shopping list to guide you with healthier eating. Disclaimer: This is my own online program.
- Michelle Bridges 12WBT – offers multiple types of programs including weight loss, running, strength and even pregnancy specific programs. This covers both nutrition and workouts for the full 12 weeks.
- Base body babes – offering 4-week customised weights training program, with recipe ideas and video tutorials plus if you go the full package they offer online support
- Ashy Bines – famous for her bikini body 12-week transformation program online, Ashy Bines program targets women who want to have that bikini body and offers easy to follow meal plans and fitness programs.
- Commando Steve – from The Biggest Loser. Commando Steve also offers a 12-week online program to getting fit and healthy with online forums, workouts, nutrition and motivation
- Sophie Guidolin – offers many articles and online blogs, Sophie offers workout plans, nutrition plans and recipe books to get your eating clean and living lean
- Research into your chosen program
Even after finding the program you think suits you, you need to do some more research on it, read reviews, good and bad, and even ask questions! If there is a forum or facebook page, put the question out there and see if you get any responses and if they are positive.
Don’t just go ahead and buy the first program that looks good, or used the right persuasion techniques to hook you in. Sometimes the sales spiel is much better than the program itself. Reviews, questions and comparing to other programs is the best way to ensure the program lives up to the marketing.
There are many more programs out there, too many to compile a list for. The last piece of advice before choosing an online program is to ask yourself the following questions:
Are you willing to push yourself?
Are you willing to make sure you do the program?
Eat the correct food consistently?
Online programs are fantastic for a lower cost and more flexible program. But they can also be completely useless if you are not willing to put the work in. You can have all the information at your fingertips but the reason people fail at the program is not because it was a poor program but because you don’t put in the work. There is no one to hold you accountable and so you have to have the determination to stick to it.